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  1. #21
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    exactly. rxpose for the highlights and correct the shadows with contrast.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  2. #22
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    Thanks Ralph - another addition to my mini-library of Way Beyond Monochrome pdf excerpts .

    For when I want to read from the computer screen, rather than from my (version 1) book.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #23

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    Here are my suggestions and reasoning behind each. This is what I would do in my own darkroom. Because of the way it was worded, I'm assuming OP's prints are reasonably close, not way off, from being good. Once I get my prints reasonably close to right and start perfecting it, more formalized process doesn't work for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    If my blacks are both too grey, and my whites are too grey, I suppose you can switch to the next-highest contrast grade and use the same exposure.
    I'd use the next higher contrast grade and the same exposure timing to start. Tones below mid gray will move lighter and tones above mid gray will move darker - increasing contrast. Once I have the right contrast, then I'd re-evaluate the exposure timing.

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    I make a print that needs more contrast. I find that the blacks are black enough, but the whites are grey. I switch to the next higher contrast grade. Should I change my exposure?
    I'd use the higher contrast grade filter. Then reduce the exposure a bit. Otherwise, you'd start losing shadow details due to darker grays moving towards black.

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    My current print has fine whites, but the blacks are too grey. I could increase my exposure to make the blacks blacker, but suppose I judge that that would wash out my highlights. I changed to the next highest contrast grade. Should I change my exposure in this case?
    I'd use higher contrast grade, then increase the exposure timing. Otherwise, highlight detail will be lost.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #24
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Constant exposure to me means the highlights are held constant as the filter is changed and the shadows become progressively darker. This is important because in printing we expose for the highlights and change contrast for the shadows.

    I find my highlight exposure by using a highlight test strip printer found in Ralph's book Way Beyond Monochrome. It produces a series of test strips of the same area of important highlight. Once the exposure is found for the highlight the contrast (filter) is changed to get the shadows where they need to be. Each time contrast is changed a new test strip is made as exposure usually does need changed unless it's a very small change. This is the method for single contrast printing.

    I've moved more toward split grade printing as mentioned by Matt. This is a much easier way to get to a finished exposure time and dodging and burning is much more effective this way as local contrast can be changed by burning and dodging during only one or both filter exposures.

  5. #25

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    Sorry to reopen an old thread, but it seems to fit here.

    I'm working towards making my process a lot more systematic to save on flailiing around with exposure and grade. I want to build up a table of exposure time multiplication factors against colour head filtration settings so I can move between grades easily without having to test strip at each grade. I've been trying to keep midtones constant but i'm finding it just too hard to be consistent.

    Most people seem to set the exposure for highlights first, and then modify shadow with contrast grade so figure I would do this too. But just for the sake of better understanding, why would you for instance not set your shadow exposure first, and modify highlights with contrast grade instead? These two approaches would give me different numbers would they not? Would both approaches work?

    Or am I missing something?

  6. #26
    MattKing's Avatar
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    You are missing something, but it isn't hard to miss.

    To be totally accurate, it would be necessary for you to have multiple versions of such a chart - one for each tone that needs matching.

    The reason for this is that each different scene has something of its own that serves as the most important tone - some scenes have shadows that are most important, some scenes have mid-tones that are most important, and some scenes have highlights that are most important, and no two scenes will have exactly the same tone that are most important.

    I would guess that a majority of printers tend to be most comfortable with using exposure to set the mid and highlight tones, and then using contrast to set the shadow tones. It seems to me that most of the VC papers I have been used have been designed that way. You, however, may not approach printing that way, or alternatively may tend to shoot photographs that aren't suited to that approach. If so, most likely you will need a chart or charts that suit your approach and photography.

    In my case, I use the charts to adjust the centre points of my tests, but otherwise rely on new tests.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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